Artistic Director Mack Richardson to Conduct his Final Production for Oswego Opera Theater

OSWEGO, NY – Artistic Director/Conductor Mack Richardson will present his final production for the Oswego Opera Theater – Amahl and the Night Visitors on December 20 at 2:30 pm at The American Foundry in Oswego.

Tickets are $30 for preferred seating, $20 adult, and $5 for all students and children.

Refreshments will be served following the performance (desserts, coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate). A cash bar is also available.

Tickets are available at Wayne Drug in Oswego and also at the door.

Mack Richardson

Richardson is conducting his final production as artistic director and conductor of Oswego Opera Theater and will be stepping down from this post on December 31.

Starting his career in Knoxville, Tenn., and Cincinnati, he led productions of Mozart’s The Impresario, Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore, Salieri’s First the Music, Then the Words, Pergolesi’s La serva padrona, Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music and Carousel.

He conducted many scenes of operas such as Madama Butterfly, Tosca, and The Elixir of Love, as well as serving as the principal rehearsal conductor at Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music’s productions of Verdi’s Falstaff, Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, and Mozart’s Don Giovanni.  In Oswego he has served as Artistic Director for all productions since June 2008.

His son, Andrew, is King Melchior in this production of Amahl and the Night Visitors.

Amahl and the Night Visitors is the story of The Three Kings (of Orient Are), on their journey to find and worship the Christ Child, who stop to rest at the home of Amahl and his penniless widowed mother.

Commissioned in 1951 by NBC-TV, it was the first opera written for television and has become a staple of the holiday season ever since. Gian-Carlo Menotti’s beautiful music and the heartwarming story are enjoyed by people of all ages.

Menotti was an Italian-American composer and librettist. Although he often referred to himself as an American composer, he kept his Italian citizenship. He wrote the classic Christmas opera Amahl and the Night Visitors, along with over two dozen other operas intended to appeal to popular taste.

He won the Pulitzer Prize twice, for The Consul (1950) and for The Saint of Bleecker Street (1955). He founded the noted Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of the Two Worlds) in Spoleto in 1958 and its American counterpart, Spoleto Festival USA, in 1977. Menotti died on February 1, 2007, at the age of 95 in a hospital in Monte Carlo, Monaco, where he had a home.

The character of Amahl is always portrayed by a boy soprano, and the Oswego Opera Theater production features 12-year-old David Griffith, an eighth grade East Syracuse Minoa Pine Grove Middle School student.

Danan Tsan, a versatile performer with a background in classical singing will portray Amahl’s mother in the production, according to Richardson. She has appeared with Syracuse Opera as Charlotte in A Little Night Music, Aldonza/Dulcinea in Man of La Mancha, with Oswego Opera as Maddalena in Verdi’s Rigoletto, and starred as Fantine in the Baldwinsville Theatre Guild’s production of Les Misérables.

Additional cast members and Oswego Opera Theater production staff include: Andrew Richardson, King Melchior; Tallon Larham, King Kaspar; Jason Holmes, King Balthazar; Dan Williams, a page; pianists: Mihoko Tsutsumi (professor, SUNY Oswego) and Veronica Shaver (retired Oswego city schools music teacher); and stage director: Garrett Heater.

The Oswego High School Chamber Singers will join the Oswego Opera Theater for the production and chorus master/vocal coach Robert Dumas; choreographer Laurel Arts; and dancers Celia Fitzgerald and Amber Cavellier have provided support for the event.

For additional information, please call (315) 638-0674 or (315) 529-3296, visit Facebook: Oswego Opera Theater; or email [email protected]